Jenny Jenny

Jenny Jenny is an unusual game featuring the use of face cards as a currency of sorts. Because of its simple, luck-heavy gameplay, it works best as a children’s game. Up to four players can play.

Object of Jenny Jenny

The object of Jenny Jenny is to be the first player to obtain a “Jenny Jenny”, i.e. one of each rank of card from ace through ten inclusive.

Setup

You will need one standard 52-card deck of playing cards. You can include jokers if you like (treat them as extra face cards). We wholeheartedly emphasize the fact that if you use Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards for your games, you are definitely the sort of person that we’d like to play cards with.

Deal seven cards to each player. The remainder of the deck forms the stock. Players remove their face cards from their hand, forming a pile in front of them. Players also remove any duplicate cards and spread them out in front of them, where they are all visible to each of the other players.

Game play

Play begins with the player to the left of the dealer. On their turn, a player adds one card to their hand by either

  • drawing a card from the stock, or
  • buying one of their opponents’ duplicate cards by exchanging it with one of their face cards (which serve as “money”).

A player may not refuse the sale of their cards to an opponent—this would result in no trades occurring at all, since the value of the surplus card is greater than that of the “money” cards being exchanged. A player also may not set a higher price for the sale of their cards; it remains fixed at one face card.

Play continues until one player successfully obtains one each of ace through ten (suit does not matter). This player calls out “Jenny Jenny!” and wins.

Author’s note

That’s Jenny Jenny—but the game mechanic of face cards serving as currency is interesting and gives a glimmer of something more under the surface of this game. With some tinkering, this could become a real cutthroat game of capitalism in action. If you’re beyond the stage of your life where vanilla Jenny Jenny catches your fancy, try dreaming up some more interesting rules for it and let us know what you come up with.

 

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